In rural Russia in the mid nineteenth century, a brilliant, anarchic young medical student arrives at the provincial family villa of his best friend, Arkady, for the summer vacation. He wants to despise the family for their imperturbable complacency and bourgeois effeteness, but he is tormented by conflicting emotions. His desperate action has tragic consequences.
2014 Revival on the London Stage!
"Brian Friel is in many ways the Irish Chekhov, and his artful, absorbing adaptation of Turgenev's 1862 novel – more a transformation, really – has many Chekhovian features … Lyndsey Turner's spring-heeled, beautifully acted production creates a real sense of a new Chekhov play without losing Friel's individual stamp, so that the play's rhythm and melancholy seems entirely new-minted" - What's On Stage
It is significant that Brian Friel's play is described as 'after the novel by Ivan Turgenev'. In short, this is no cut-and-paste version of the 1862 Russian masterpiece. It is more a meditation on its main themes and...is an ensemble piece that yields a rich gallery of performances" - The Guardian
"The evening leaves you pondering not just the play's political implications but the ageless tragedy of parent child relationship." - London Guardian
"Drama at its most stimulating and eloquent...has the density, complexity and richness of a great 19th century novel without the usual creaking stage mechanism of dramatized fiction." - New York Daily News
"A fine, solid piece of drama not just about the divisions between the different generations but also about nihilism, revolution and the immutability of love." -Time Out